‘Why not Sara?' Some use national mourning to jeer against PM’s wife

Efraim Shamir posted on social media his wish that wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would pass-away rather than Nechama Rivlin, causing an uproar.

June 4, 2019 16:33
1 minute read.
‘Why not Sara?' Some use national mourning to jeer against PM’s wife

Sara Netanyahu. (photo credit: REUTERS)

As the nation mourns the passing of Nechama Rivlin, wife of President Reuven Rivlin, musician Efraim Shamir caused an uproar by posting on his Facebook page “why not Sara,” alluding to wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sara, Maariv reported on Tuesday.

Faced with disapproval from users who responded to him by expressing their dismay that “such a talented man can write such shocking things” and called him a “keyboard activist,” a term describing online users who write in a provocative fashion about politics and other issues.

Rather than backing down, Shamir responded by calling his critics “hypocrites.”

“Don’t speak to me about ethics,” he wrote, “after you elected a criminal liar as Prime Minister,” in reference to the recent round of elections in which Netanyahu won and later failed to form a coalition.

Shamir was not the only one to respond on social media and “wish” for the death of Netanyahu’s wife. In response to a Facebook post by the Prime Minister, expressing his sorrow over the passing of Rivlin, a woman wrote “soon by you.”

The expression, often used by Jewish people on happy occasions such as weddings and births, was likely used in irony.

The Likud party condemned Shamir’s words saying they “deserve complete and utter condemnation.”

Culture Minister Miri Regev said Shamir had “crossed a red line” and said that had such things been said regarding a left-leaning person, “a criminal police investigation would be already opened.”

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely called the words used by Shamir “shocking” and called for universal condemnation of them.

Shamir gained fame in the 1970s with the popular Israeli group Kaveret, whose albums Poogy Tales and Poogy in a Pita made them superstars. The band also represented Israel in the 1974 Eurovision song contest. 

He continues to release solo albums and work with younger generations of musicians.                  

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